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Keith Ellison Responds To Allen West Jab: ‘More Respectful And Productive Public Dialogue,’ Please

25 January 2011 Huffington Post 2 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) responded to harsh criticism from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) Tuesday, saying that his Tea Party-backed colleague’s comments were unexpected, incorrect and counterproductive in terms of increasing civil discourse between politicians.

On Monday, an interview emerged showing West decrying Ellison, one of two Muslims in the House, as representing “the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

Ellison responded Tuesday in a statement to ThinkProgress:

I was surprised to hear of Congressman West’s comments because he has never expressed these sentiments to me directly.Contrary to the views expressed by Congressman West, I work to represent the highest ideals of our great nation – ideals like freedom of worship and respect for all faiths, equal protection under the law as well as a civil and open public discourse.

I call on Americans of all colors, cultures and faiths to turn to each other, not on each other, especially in the renewed spirit of finding a more respectful and productive public dialogue.

Americans across the country want their public servants to reject the toxic and corrosive chatter that yields more heat than light. I hope to have a productive and respectful dialogue with all of my colleagues, including Allen West.

Original post: Keith Ellison Responds To Allen West Jab: ‘More Respectful And Productive Public Dialogue,’ Please


  1. Congressman Ellison is overly polite when he says he was “surprised” to hear Congressman West make such remarks. I say it is typical of the Tea Party and their agenda. Kudos to Ellison for keeping a calm, level head and not stooping to bait.

  2. In response to Mr. Koenig, I actually heard Mr. West’s remarks and they were stated politely and intellectually. This link shows an article proving Mr. Ellison’s anti-Israel sentiments therefore he should not be surprised when a real true American speaks his true feelings in public. Mr. Ellison needs to re-think his stances on Democracy, freedom, and whom he was elected to support.

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